Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Way Things Go Here

As alienated in affection as we have become, I will always have a deep appreciation for the (small-d) democratic spirit of New York and its, well, randomness.

Last week, Lillet and I met with a caterer in a midtown boutique hotel. This is odd enough. Although Lillet works in this neighborhood, she's conscious of being in a different world whenever she's there. For us to have anything like a social engagement here — in this world populated by suits and secretaries from the suburbs and gawking tourists — isn't off-putting, but it is different; the feeling that we've gone somewhere else is palpable. We've sat in far more luxurious hotel lobbies, but on this evening I was hyper-aware of being the only man not in a suit. And I'm sure that I will never get used to the sight of Brioni-clad brokers quaffing Amstel Light.

So, we are listening to this very nice man who is built like an NFL running back describe to us how he obtained at auction for a little soirée in Greenwich a case of 1987 Cheval Blanc (magnums) and one of 1983 Chateau d'Yquem. Lillet explained that we are by inclination and financial constraint more likely to want to reproduce the sort of meal we had on our first date, which was a $20 bottle of cru bourgeois Bordeaux and lots of tapenade.

Suddenly, the running back jumped up.

"Mr. Barak!"



I turned and saw the caterer greeting a beefy but clearly fit man, solid, clad despite the early summer swelter in the very best that Wilson's House of Leather and Suede had to offer, a substantial man with a quiet you do not want to fuck with me air about him. I took him at first to be perhaps the owner of a string of Persian carpet galleries. But no. This was Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel. The running back had only days earlier catered a luncheon in his honor.

For one quick second I thought, Oh come on. Is this the best you can do? Ehud Barak? Had he wanted really to
impress us he'd have arranged for Anna Karina or Jacques Rivette or Eddy Merckx or David Foster Wallace to "coincidentally" wander through the lobby. Johnny and Vanessa at the very least.

But that's just the way things go here. Your chat with a caterer is interrupted by the most decorated soldier in the history of the Israeli Defense Forces.


Blogger Mr. H.K. said...

All I ever got was Donald Trump and Al Sharpton in the Palm Court at the Plaza.

Mr. HK
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen

5:26 PM  
Blogger Trey Desolay said...

Donald Trump and Al Sharpton together? That rocks.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Zack Brown said...

Please come visit The Big Red Blog: A Political Road Sign Transcending State and Party Lines.

1:14 PM  
Blogger schuey said...

I can only say : go for the cheval blanc... a hell of a wine...

but then it's depend of the cru bourgeois ? Sociando Mallet ?

10:00 AM  

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